Liudmila Samsonova shows Iga Swiatek major respect but aims upset win



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Liudmila Samsonova shows Iga Swiatek major respect but aims upset win

World No. 31 Liudmila Samsonova thinks extremely highly of Iga Swiatek but she is determined to deliver a big performance in her first-ever meeting against a world No. 1 player. Samsonova, 23, entered this season with the goal of playing much better on clay.

In her first clay tournament of the year, Samsonova reached the Stuttgart semifinal without a dropped set. Samsonova will be battling world No. 1 Swiatek for a place in the Stuttgart final. "My personal ambition was I want to play better on clay courts.

To play better on clay courts you have to improve the game. My game was working indoors and on grass. But I could be better and I have the possibility to be good. To play better on slower surfaces, that was my goal," Samsonova told WTA Insider.

"The feeling is amazing. I'm curious to see tommorow what's happening. I've never played a world No. 1. I think Iga is a level up right now, of everybody in everything. When you put together eveything, the puzzle, it's working.

She's so good at the moment."

Samsonova praised by Swiatek

On Friday, Samsonova defeated Laure Siegemund 7-5 6-3 to progress into the Stuttgart semifinal. After beating Emma Raducanu, Swiatek reflected on her upcoming match versus Samsonova.

"I've seen the scores, and it seems like [Samsonova] is getting more and more confident, and her ranking is going up," said Swiatek. "So for sure she's one to watch, and she's doing huge progress.

... I need to tactically prepare tomorrow, and I'll be ready." Swiatek has won her last 21 matches and she is two wins away from winning her fourth consecutive title. Samsonova is playing well but it's clear she enters the match as the underdog. However, Samsonova has been playing well this week and she has nothing to lose against the world No. 1.